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CNN reported on-air during “Out Front with Erin Burnett” that “multiple officials” from the Trump administration have told the network that the president continues to use his personal device to make phone calls “despite repeated warnings” by his staff and that he “doesn’t care.”
White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins told CNN anchor Erin Burnett that Trump had been repeatedly warned that his calls could be vulnerable to “foreign surveillance,” which had been a concern of the staff “since he took office” and how the ongoing impeachment inquiry has “revived” such concerns.
Moments later, the president took to Twitter and blasted the report.
“Fake News @CNN is reporting that I am ‘still using personal cell phone for calls despite repeated security warnings.’ This is totally false information and reporting,” Trump said. “I haven’t had a personal cell phone for years. Only use government approved and issued phones. Retract!”
The CNN journalists behind the report responded to the tweet, saying: “We stand by our story.”
CNN has had quite the ratings stumble heading into the holiday season. The beleaguered network’s primetime hosts Anderson Cooper, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon celebrated Thanksgiving with the network’s lowest-rated week in primetime viewership in nearly three years.
Fox News averaged 2.2 million viewers during the primetime hours of 9-11 p.m. ET from Nov. 25 through Dec. 1, while MSNBC averaged 1.3 million viewers during the same time period and CNN managed only 643,000 average viewers. It was CNN’s worst performance in nearly three years and the liberal network’s worst turnout among the key demographic of adults age 25-54 in over five years.
Thanksgiving didn’t make for a slow news week, as CNN’s hapless totals came amid ongoing news regarding impeachment hearings of President Trump, the controversy surrounding the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, Mike Bloomberg launching a 2020 presidential bid, Trump’s surprise trip to Afghanistan and significant weather-related stories.
CNN averaged only 138,000 primetime demo viewers — less than half of Fox News’ average of 303,000 during the week.
Fox News was the most-watched cable network among total day viewers for the 47th straight week, averaging 1.3 million. Hallmark Channel, ESPN, MSNBC and Nickelodeon joined FNC among the top five.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.